Tag Archive: Wisconsin

Aug 16 2018

2018 Primaries: 8/14/2018 Results

Four states, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin, held primaries on Tuesday. Besides those primaries, we got a concession from one of the undecided elections from last week. Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer conceded the election to Trump backed State Attorney General Kris Kobach. Colyer conceded Tuesday night, hours after a tally of provisional ballots in Johnson …

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Aug 14 2018

2018 Elections: Four State Primaries

Four states are holding primaries today: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin. Connecticut: Governor Danal Malloy (D) is retiring after two terms. The Republicans are looking for a win here due to Malloy’s unpopularity. There are five candidates for the nomination Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton; former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst; Steve Obsitnik; Bob Stefanowski; and …

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Apr 05 2016

2016 Primaries: Wisconsin’s Turn

The polls in Wisconsin primary opened at 7 AM CT. The primary is also a general election for state and local judicial candidates. Wisconsin voters are very highly engaged and the turn out, even for local elections tends to be higher than other states. That may change. This is the first election since the new …

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Aug 14 2015

The Hypocrisy of the Fiscal Conservatives: Funding Sports Stadiums

Last month John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” focused his laser with on the boondoggle of tax payer funded sports stadiums. The practice goes on even though it is a losing proposition for the cities that just lines the pockets of the extremely wealthy franchise owners. In states and cities that are going broke, where the infrastructure is falling apart, schools failing and far right elected officials cut taxes and spending, the one thing that will get money is a sports stadium. In St. Louis, Missouri the court recently rules that the city doesn’t need to ask the taxpayers for permission to build a new NFL stadium:

St. Louis can use city tax dollars to build a new NFL stadium for the Rams without a public vote on the matter, Circuit Court Judge Thomas Frawley ruled on Monday. Critics say the decision calls into question the city’s spending priorities one year after the killing of an unarmed black teenager ignited long-simmering racial tensions and exposed extreme poverty, corruption, and racial bias throughout the county.

A 2002 ordinance requires a city vote before spending public money on a new sports facility. Frawley declared the ordinance invalid, saying portions were “too vague to be enforced.”

Meanwhile, in the state that Charles Pierce calls the Koch Industries subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, staunch fiscal conservative and Tea Party Governor signed legislation to give the New York City bases hedge fund owners of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team millions of tax dollars to build a new arena. David Dayen at Salon fills us in on Gov. Walker’s fiscal hypocrisy:

Herb Kohl, the former Democratic senator, sold the Milwaukee Bucks to two New York-based hedge fund managers, Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens, in 2014; and they immediately demanded a new arena, lest they abandon Milwaukee. Lasry and Edens are worth around $2 billion each, but under the purchasing agreement they would only put up $150 million for the arena, with Kohl kicking in another $100 million. The rest would come from city, county and state taxpayers.

The usual discredited arguments propped up this deal. Wisconsin lawmakers promised great economic benefits from a new downtown arena. Walker said repeatedly it would be cheaper to keep the Bucks in Wisconsin than to lose them to some other city. This ignores the fact that the alternate universe where Wisconsinites don’t have a Bucks game to attend in April is not necessarily to sit in their homes and contemplate the darkness of existence. They’d maybe go out to dinner, with the economic activity simply substituted.

Numerous (pdf) studies (pdf) have shown (pdf) no economic benefits (pdf) to building a new stadium; it’s just something rich people say to get someone else to pay for the construction. Seattle is not a deserted wasteland because they lost the SuperSonics in 2008. They’re doing okay.

None of this mattered to politicians who could tell sports fans they “saved the Bucks,” however, and the legislature, with Walker’s prodding, agreed to cover $250 million of the $500 million needed to build the stadium. Walker’s budget literally cuts $250 million for the state university system, precisely the public share of the arena. They’re paying for it partially through borrowing, which adds interest. And if you tally up other subsidies like property tax abatements and sales tax exemptions, the 20-year cost could be as much as $500 million. That’s effectively the entire cost of the arena itself, and taxpayers will have no ownership stake in the property.

The host of MSNBC’s “All In,” Chris Hayes discussed the deal with David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute and Kavitha Davidson, sports columnist at Bloomberg View.

What Charlie said:

Contrary to what I predicted, so far at least, Scott Walker has proven to be something of a lemon as a national candidate. He is even more charisma-challenged than I thought he was, and he can’t get out of his own way on most major policy issues.  Beating up English teachers and bum-rushing grannies out of the state capitol will only get you so far. And this gift to a couple of hedge-fund buckaroos is making nobody except those two guys happy. This is how Ben Carson ends up in second place in Iowa.

Jun 11 2012

Citizens United, June 5th, and Money, Money, Money, Money! by Geminijen

“When the madness is directed towards the likes of you and me,

Then our blindness may be lifted and we might begin to see.

For when others are afflicted, with the scourge that has no end,

Then we practice our denial — and the purging, we defend.

So the powers and the peoples of the nations of this Earth

Could be fully in connivance — or denial of the hurt…

And even, in our hubris, in our information age,

We are blinded by our bias — and at petty issues rage.

So the workers were divided and they voted Nazis in,

And so many were the workers, who paid dearly for this sin!

And we see now in Wisconsin, there’s a Walker riding high,

And there’s cash enough from coffers to propagate the lie.”

(excerpted)

Arjun Jalah

Sometimes you would give anything not to be right!  When I started writing this diary three weeks ago, I predicted that Scott Walker would win the recall election for governor in Wisconsin. Walker, with unlimited corporate money, was challenged by a massive people’s movement when he outlawed most collective bargaining rights in what was usually considered a progressive state.  I knew, with the certainty of a cynic that that much money would out-weigh people power.   It was the fight between John Henry and the steel driving machine all over again. Yet, there I was, Tuesday night, praying that the people power would, in the end, win.  Not.  Walker beat Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate 53%-46%, winning by a whopping 6% points. As Ed of the Ed Show so colorfully pointed out, there was no way to put lipstick on that pig. Or as Chris Hedges had said a couple of weeks earlier: “We lost. They won.”

monopoly

Jun 06 2012

What Is Wrong With Wisconsin?

MSNBC and other news outlets are calling the Wisconsin recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker for Gov. Walker.

Walker Survives Recall Vote

Scott Walker, the embattled Republican governor of Wisconsin, narrowly survived a recall vote on Tuesday, defeating a union-led effort to remove him from office for pushing laws to restrict the collective bargaining rights of state workers.

The state’s labor movement had marshaled widespread anger earlier this year to force a recall vote just two years into Mr. Walker’s four-year term. Democrats collected close to one million signatures in the petition drive to oust him.

That effort led to the closely-watched rematch between Mr. Walker and the Democratic opponent he beat in 2010, Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee. In the voting Tuesday, Mr. Walker once again bested Mr. Barrett for the state’s top job.

The results were a victory for the national Republican Party and conservative groups from around the country, which had rallied behind Mr. Walker with tens of millions of dollars. Mr. Walker will now complete his term.

Unless, he’s indicted.

Jun 04 2012

Wisconsin Recall: Vote Tomorrow

The vote to recall Wisconsin’s Republican Tea Party Governor Scott Walker is tomorrow. The latest Public Policy Polling results has his challenger Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett with a slight lead over Walker:

   PPP’s final poll on the Wisconsin recall finds Scott Walker ahead, but also a race that’s tightening. Walker leads Tom Barrett 50-47. That’s down from 50-45 on a PPP poll conducted three weeks ago and it’s also down from a 52-45 lead that Walker posted in a Marquette Law poll released last week.

   Barrett is actually winning independent voters by a 48-46 margin. The reason he continues to trail overall is that Republicans are more excited about voting in Tuesday’s election than Democrats are. Our projected electorate voted for Barack Obama by only 7 points, even though he took the state by 14 in 2008. If the folks who turn out on Tuesday actually matched the 2008 electorate, Barrett would be ahead of Walker by a 50-49 margin. It’s cliche but this is a race that really is going to completely come down to turnout.

This week’s Up with Chris Hayes devoted its first segments to what is at stake for not only Wisconsin but the rest of the country.

The battle for Wisconsin

Up with Chris Hayes panelists Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Michelle Bernard, founder, president and CEO of The Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy; and Bob Herbert, former New York Times columnist and now a distinguished senior fellow at the progressive think tank Demos, discuss the ferocious recall election in Wisconsin, and its implications for national politics.

John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, joins thepanel to talk about the tidal wave of dark money flowing in from special interests in the Wisconsin recall election.

Dec 14 2011

Times Person of the Year: It Is Us, The Protesters

It started with a 26 year old Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire sparking protests that over threw the government. The protest has spread to Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Syria, Israel, Greece, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York City and across the United States to Chicago, Houston, Oakland, Portland, and Los Angeles. Russians have taken to the streets in the largest protests since the overthrow of the Soviet Union that may end the career of Vladimir Putin. It has been a year of protests that have changed the world. And we aren’t done.

Now Time magazine has named me, you, all of us, the Protester, the Person of the Year.

History often emerges only in retrospect. Events become significant only when looked back on. No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square in a town barely on a map, he would spark protests that would bring down dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and rattle regimes in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Or that that spirit of dissent would spur Mexicans to rise up against the terror of drug cartels, Greeks to march against unaccountable leaders, Americans to occupy public spaces to protest income inequality, and Russians to marshal themselves against a corrupt autocracy.Protests have now occurred in countries whose populations total at least 3 billion people, and the word protest has appeared in newspapers and online exponentially more this past year than at any other time in history.

Is there a global tipping point for frustration? Everywhere, it seems, people said they’d had enough. They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. They literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective, colossal change. And although it was understood differently in different places, the idea of democracy was present in every gathering. The root of the word democracy is demos, “the people,” and the meaning of democracy is “the people rule.” And they did, if not at the ballot box, then in the streets. America is a nation conceived in protest, and protest is in some ways the source code for democracy – and evidence of the lack of it.

We will take to the streets and the ballot boxes and back to the streets until we have won the “war” against the oligarchs, the banks and the billionaires.  

Sep 01 2011

Mass Exodus of Teachers In Wisconsin

Teacher Retirement Spike, with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine

Wisconsin facing teacher exodus

Controversial law prompts a spate of retirements

MADISON, Wis. – When students return today for the first day of school across Wisconsin, many familiar faces will be gone, as teachers chose retirement over coming back following the passage of a bill that would have forced them to pay more for benefits and taken away most of their collective bargaining rights.

Documents obtained by the Associated Press under the state’s open records law show that about twice as many public school teachers decided to retire in the first half of this year as in each of the past two full years, part of a mass exit of public employees.

Their departures came after the bill passed but before the new law took effect. The bill, which was pushed by Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature, led to weeks of protests at the Capitol.

The ensuing exodus of teachers and other state employees has spurred fears that the jobs might not be filled and that classroom leadership by veteran teachers will be lost.

Aug 10 2011

Recall Wisconsin with Up Dates (Final)

This is dedicated to my friend the Ben Masel.

The polls opened this morning in Wisconsin to determine the recall of six of eight Republicans in the state Senate who voted to end union bargaining rights that sparked mass protests earlier this year. The Democrats need to win at least 3 seats to take back the Senate from the grips of the tea party Republicans. the other two races will be held on August 16th. These are the races that will be determined tonight:

There has been an influx of outside money in these races much of it from two groups with direct ties to the Koch brothers have financed many tea party organizations like Americans for Prosperity and Citizens for a Stronger America.

Amount spent on all state races in 2010: $3.75 million. Amount spent on recall elections targeting eight state senators: $31 million.

It has been nearly impossible to poll these races, as even the polling has been so skewed one way then another. We will just have to wait until the “fat lady” stops singing at 8 PM CDT (9 PM EDT).

Up dates will be posted as the returns are reported.

Up Date 20:17 PM EDT: Reports are coming in that voters turn out reached presidential election proportions of up to 70% in some districts. John Nichols on Countdown with Keith Olbermann believes that they could take back ore that three seats.

Up Date 21:00 EDT: In New Hampshire in a unnoticed special election for a seat in the Republican held Senate, Democrat Bob Perry wins the election

The polls in Wisconsin are now closed.

Up Date 09:30 EDT: Early this morning the race in the 18th District was called for the incumbent, Alberta Darling, leaving the Democrats one member short of taking back control of the WI State Senate. It did create a senate with a narrow margin of one. Democrats, although disappointed, were encouraged and will move on with the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker in January.

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